Author: Oliver Lindner

Since 2000, speculative fiction in Anglophone literatures has increasingly focused on the future of the West and the manifold dangers it entails, such as climate change, genetic engineering or nuclear catastrophe. Literary texts which show the decline of the West as the globally dominant cultural and economic force combine a biting critique of capitalism with an imaginative framework of a future world, and they can be viewed as a literary counter-discourse that defies hegemonic Western self-perceptions rooted in ethnocentrism and an unquestioned affirmation of capitalism. This article aims to analyse the position of the West in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas (2004), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) and Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood (2009). It will reveal patterns in the narration of the downfall of the West, exploring, in particular, the way in which cannibalism is employed in all three texts as a signifier of the West’s decline. It will also investigate how these texts construct the dissolution of the West on the level of narrative structure and language.

In: From Popular Goethe to Global Pop
In: Re-Inventing the Postcolonial (in the) Metropolis
London post-2010 in British Literature and Culture explores cultural and literary representations of London since around 2010 and focuses on a period in which a string of celebratory national and global media events, but also riots and anti-capitalist protests have cemented London’s status as a paradigmatic world city.

This collection of articles brings together a wide variety of topics, such as the 2011 London riots, the London Olympics of 2012, royal festivities, the Tube anniversary, memorials, and London in recent novels and blockbuster films. The contributions look at the way in which cultural and literary texts articulate competing versions of the contemporary city, oscillating between either supporting or subverting the hegemonic narrative of London as a place of cosmopolitan harmony and inclusion.

Othering, Reification, Commodification and the New Literatures and Cultures in English
Since its inception in the 1980s, postcolonial theory has greatly enriched academic perspectives on culture and literature. Yet, in the same way that colonial goods and services have long contributed to economic and political growth, postcolonial topics have also become a profit-generating commodity. This is highly apparent in the success of the postcolonial novel or in the ability of film to cross over from Asia, Africa and elsewhere to paying audiences in Europe and America.
The contributions in this volume, in their various ways, take a critical look at artistic responses to the commodification of colonial and postcolonial histories, peoples, and products from the eighteenth century to the present. They explore, in particular, what literary and cultural texts have to say about commodification after the end of colonialism and how the Western culture industry continually capitalizes on representations of the postcolonial Other.
Contributors: Samy Azouz, Lars Eckstein, Rainer Emig, Wolfgang Funk, Jens Martin Gurr, Birte Heidemann, Sissy Helff, Graham Huggan, Stephan Laqué, Oliver Lindner, Ana Cristina Mendes, Sabine Nunius, Carl Plasa, Katharina Rennhak, Ksenia Robbe, Cecile Sandten.
In: Commodifying (Post)Colonialism
In: Commodifying (Post)Colonialism